Dhari - 0 K.M., painted in 1988, is an early example of the photorealist style which defined Atul Dodiya's oeuvre in the 1980s, and first brought him critical acclaim. The dry barren landscape of Saurashtra unfolds and stretches into infinity. Dodiya, originally from this region, used to travel frequently by train and capture fleeting images of the landscape.
This work excises extraneous visual elements in order to heighten the impact of the bare, arid landscape, stylistically departing from other works of this period. The resulting open space communicates a foreboding sense of calm. Scattered vertical poles punctuate the canvas and reinforce the feeling of barrenness, only to be broken by the two bright spots of color in the small shrine and the structure in the distance. The severity of the Saurashtran sun bisects the canvas into a bare ascending landscape and naked sky, evoking the play of lines in the paintings of Edward Hopper, where architecture offers a springboard for exploring formal geometries. The interaction between the abstract diagonal planes and expanses of light is often as much a focal point as the subject itself.